Doctor Who

8.4 / 10
48 min
Science-Fiction
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8.5
" gives "Doctor Who - Season 1" a 8.5."
Written by on 16 October 2013.
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Doctor Who - Season 1

London, 2005. Rose Tyler is off to work. When she has to run upstairs to the janitor at closing time, she ends up in a room filled with mannequins. They all seem very normal… until they attack her. Luckily her saviour in time of need makes his entrance: a man with large ears, a leather coat, and a whirring, glowing screwdriver. Not exactly a prince on a white horse, is it? But… who is he? He answers that question himself: ‘I’m the Doctor, by the way.’ And that’s how we get to meet the mysterious man known as ‘the Doctor’, the ninth Doctor in the renewed version of the long-running (1963-1989) science fiction series.

For new viewers, it may be useful to explain the concept of ‘the Doctor’, since it is something quite unique. The Doctor is a Time Lord: a time traveller from the planet Gallifrey. When a Time Lord dies, he regenerates, which means that he becomes a completely different person from the outside. Naturally it is a clever way to swap the leading actor of a series, but it also keeps the series fresh and new. This is because every Doctor brings something typical in their regeneration. They do have something in common, though (apart from them being Time Lords): the TARDIS (an acronym for ‘Time and Relative Dimension in Space’), a blue phone box that is bigger on the inside in which the Doctor and his companions travel through time and space.

That’ll do for introduction; now let's continue with the first season of ‘Doctor Who’. After the first episode, I already sensed that this was going to be one of my favourite series (which proved to be true). The first season is amazing; not only are the characters set out fascinatingly for a first-time impression of a new series, the entire season just feels as a whole. I won’t spoil why exactly that is, but in the season finale everything that seemed random comes together. That is what I appreciate mostly in the series: everything is thought through. Nothing happens without a reason, and the story always is ingenious and mind-blowing.

Then onto the casting, starting with the Doctor himself. Christopher Eccleston ('The Others') is very recognisable: he’s rather lanky, tall, has big ears, an amazingly expressive face, and a Northern English accent. I think he’s cast brilliantly, because he has such control over his face and body that he can switch from cheerful and funny to frightening and serious in the blink of an eye (not to mention that he's a great actor). In my opinion, this changeability is a very important character trait for the Doctor. His companion this season is Rose Tyler; she is played by Billie Piper (‘Secret Diary of a Call Girl’). Even though Rose might not seem the most intelligent girl around, this season proves that she has a lot more to offer than what her former job suggested. Her character is so much deeper than you would think at first sight, and Billie Piper gives her that depth.

Since ‘Doctor Who’ is a science fiction series, it is obvious that they’ll be fighting lots of aliens, which I sometimes consider a downside. The special effects aren’t all that good, and the way they look seems rather far-fetched sometimes. I don’t think this is a problem, though. In my opinion, the storyline is so much more important and so much better than the special effects. What I like about the special effects in ‘Doctor Who’ is that they never seem to have tried to be a proper science fiction series; they always put the story first, and in the first season(s) they don’t pay that much attention to what it all looks like. I think that the plot is one of the most important factors in any series, and in this season that is what bears most emphasis (and rightfully so).

So, my verdict: my opinion of this season is in one word, to quote the Ninth Doctor’s catch phrase: ‘Fantastic!’
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